Video Games/ Violence

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short article regarding violent content in video games and their effect on culture.

Submitted: March 08, 2010

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Submitted: March 08, 2010

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With video games growing in popularity, people are starting to study the media more and more. While still relatively young, video games have grown quickly, at an almost aggressive pace. Within 25 years, 8-bit platform games such as Super Mario Brothers have gained a 3rd dimension, become HD, and feature lengthy storylines about well developed characters. But there is another attribute that videogames have gained and have become almost infamous for in the past few years: violence.
What does that mean though? American culture has slowly grown desensitized to violence over the past few decades. Are videogames partly to blame for this, or are they merely a product of their environment?
Perhaps an answer to this can be found in those most likely to be affected by video games; the majority of people who play video games are between the ages of 12 and 24. For those teenagers under the age of 17, there are few restrictions on mature material in games. While there is a rating system in place, parents often don’t take it seriously. A rated M game can have far more violence in it cumulatively than a rated R movie (due to the amount of time that can be put into them) and that is not understood by most.
Maybe an answer to this can be found in other media. Movies, for example, have an increasing amount of violence in them seemingly every year. Horror movies, which used to rely on suspense and thrill, now only rely on blood and gore. Despite the fact that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) rating system is still in full effect, every year more content is pushed into lower ratings (ex: a movie rated “PG-13” today might have been rated “R” 5 years ago). The music industry has seen a similar increase in violent content. “Parental Advisory” warning labels can be found easily on rap, metal, and rock albums today. Perhaps games, along with movies and music, have together helped each other in causing people to be less conscious about violence. Or perhaps, inversely, they are all victims of it.



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